Diagnosed one month ago, aged 24.

em_24em_24 Member Posts: 8
edited November 2016 in Newly diagnosed
Hi, my name is Emma. I have been wanting to post on here for a while, but just didn't know what to say, but desperately wanting some support. I am 24 years old, and found a lump a few months ago. My doctor sent me home to wait 6 weeks to see if it went away as they didn't believe it would be cancer. It didn't go away, so I had an ultrasound, mammogram and core biopsy. They never thought it was cancer, but the biopsy came back inconclusive, so I was sent to a breast surgeon to have it removed. They took it out and I went back a week later, and was told it was breast cancer. I have no history in my family, and I am 24... so really couldn't believe it, but even from the start had a bad feeling. I tend to think the worst of situations, as my sister passed away when I was 12.. so quite often expect the worst. I was told I would have another surgery to remove more tissue to try to get clear margins and to get some lymph nodes taken out.

My doctor and surgeon seem baffled as normally cancer in young people tends to be aggressive, but mine is a grade 1, 17mm lump, with 7mm of invasive surrounding the lump, so technically this is a 'good cancer' as I have been told, but normally presents in older women. It is 95% oestrogen +, and they didn't expect to find any cancer in my lymph nodes, but one of three that they took, had a small amount of cancer. This really scares me. I was sent straight for genetic testing, and have sent the cancer itself for genomic testing in the US, more information the better I am hoping. I have seen an oncologist, radiotherapist, and tomorrow seeing a fertility clinic. I just feel overwhelmed with information, and so scared of the long term future. The medical team is unsure what to do, as normally they would remove the lump and have radiotherapy and that's it, but they are leading towards wanting to over treat me because of my age... so possibly double mastectomy, chemo, and 10 years of tamoxifen and ovarian suppression..

I cannot think of anything but this... all the time... Thank you for those who will read this, I really appreciate it.  :)



  • fate81fate81 Member Posts: 3
    Hi Emma. My name is Laura. I was diagnosed a few weeks ago as well with early breast cancer. You are not alone and I completely understand what you are going through...
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,123
    The beginning of this journey is a barrage of tests and information and overwhelming to everyone. You have had a lot to take in and it's  difficult at any age never mind at 24. My niece...who was in her early 30s got an aggressive form of breast cancer, couldn't feel a lump but she had 10 positive nodes, know this, 14 years on she is cancer free. As frightening as this is you have very good odds of being cured. Ask all you want. We are here to listen and to help. Take care. Kath x
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,462
    Dear Emma

    You are naturally very frightened and almost any advice will be hard to think about let alone act on, but as far as is possible, think just about one or two things at a time. Otherwise you get overwhelmed. Don't think about treatment for years, think about living for lots and lots of years. Think about all the knowledge there is about treating breast cancer. It's normal to fear the worst, it doesn't mean it's going to happen. Everyone at this site knows how it feels to just keep turning the news over and over in your head, you think you will never get used to it. But things progress, change, sometimes better than you had hoped. I am sure you will have lots of advice here, and I hope you have friends and family to support you too. It's a lot to take on and take in, but everyone finds they are stronger than they think. Just take one step at a time. One step. Then the next. Then one more. 
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 2,267
    Hello Emma,  just want to welcome you to the group we would all prefer not to need. As the others have stated take it step by step. Ask questions
    Alice aka Soldier crab
  • Tracey62Tracey62 Gold CoastMember Posts: 298
    Hi Emma, what a frightening time you've been through. Sad that it should happen to any of us, but 24 is just wrong. You will make it through this rough time with many years ahead to enjoy. sending you a big warm hug, Tracey xx
  • rowdyrowdy Member Posts: 1,165
    Hi Emma welcome to the site, what a shock for you. Try and take some one with you when you go to appointments as a second person to listen always helps. Start a list of questions to take with you next appointment as when you go in you.see docs the info keeps coming. Visit often as lots of ladies of different ages and experiences. No trip of bc is the same for anyone. One day at a time take care sending you a hugxx
  • Rachel01Rachel01 Member Posts: 26
    Welcome Emma.  Life is so not fair sometimes.  You are the same age as my son.  What a shock for you.  I  hope you have a lot of support around you. It sounds like you have a good medical team who are doing everything possible.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you're going xox
  • MiraMira I live in my computer .... Member Posts: 390
    Hey Emma, that's a lot to take in at 24.   Just take one day at a time and look after yourself.  We are all here for you if you need us.
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,284
    Hi Emma - we're all here to help you through, it's a so and so this diagnosis.  The most important thing you have to put your head into at present is you!  Remember the medical team are doing everything possible for you and the course of action being recommended is what they believe will help you along to an eventual all clear life! 

    Hopefully you have someone to go with you to appointments, make lots of notes and ask lots of questions.  Have you been allocated a breast care nurse?  She will become your go to person!  Have you ordered your My Journey Kit?  Ring BCNA, number on their website, click at the top of this page,  the staff are very helpful and will guide you through.

    Wishing you well with treatment and please come on and let us all know how you are, coping or not coping! 

    Take care from Christine
  • ccasperccasper Central Coast, NSWDragonfly Posts: 190
    Hi emma

    its such a shock! I was diagnosed 3 months ago at 30. I still have to pinch myself that I am going through this as well. The best thing you can do is, as hard as it may be is to roll with what the experts say and know you are going to tackle this head on. We are all here for you and if you feel you need to speak to a counselor or psychologist there is no shame in that whatsoever. Hoping all the best for you. We are just a message away xx
  • Ann-MarieAnn-Marie Member Posts: 1,158
    @em_24 please let me know if you have not received the "My Journey Kit" and I can get this sent to you. As all the members have said we are here to support you any way we can.  Please ask as many questions as you need to.
  • Jane221Jane221 Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 968
    Hi Emma, so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, it is a shock and an overwhelming experience for any one of us, let alone someone your age. The first few weeks are particularly difficult as you are faced with a barrage of information and expected to make decisions while you are still in shock, not the ideal situation.

    The My Journey Kit is great for understanding some of the new terminology you'll be hearing and for preparing questions for your medical team. There is also a section on the BCNA website for Young Women and Breast Cancer, which also lists some useful resources: http://https//www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/breast-cancer-in-young-women/

    If you are considering reconstruction as part of your surgical treatment, you might like to join our group, Choosing Breast Reconstruction, on this site to understand a little more about your options: http://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/group/1-choosing-breast-reconstruction

    Hopefully you've got access to a Breast Care nurse that can help you navigate some of the information and to help you with your decision-making, but as the ladies have all said, we are here to help in any way we can so please feel free to jump on and ask questions. Best of luck hun xx
  • Hopes_and_DreamsHopes_and_Dreams Gold CoastMember Posts: 750
    Hi Emma, so sorry that you have to deal with this at your age, it just shouldn't happen.  As it has been said, there is a lot of experience and love on this site - we are all here for you.   Sending my best wishes and a hug,  Jane x
  • MelhayMelhay Member Posts: 157
    Hello Emma,
    Very sorry for the reason you've found yourself here.
    Your head must be spinning right now with the barrage of information coming at you.  
    Just know that your treatment team are doing their very best to ensure you don't have to go through this again down the track. That said, you are still the one who has to live with the effects of the surgery & treatment so be sure to ask all the questions you need of your health care team & or here. 

    Take care

    Mel xx
  • Ro10Ro10 Sunshine Coast, QLDMember Posts: 59
    Hi Emma, so sorry that you have had to join this group, especially at such a young age, but there are so many wonderful, supportive women here that can help you get through, and they actually understand all the stress and emotions around your diagnosis. 
    I was diagnosed about 6 weeks ago at age 34 so it was also a shock for me and I was initially told to expect the worst due to my age but it turned out my cancer is quite common and there are a lot of treatment options. My surgeon actually told me that it's a good time to be getting breast cancer (not that there is EVER a good time!) as there has been so much research into breast cancer and it's all coming to fruition now. Please know that A LOT of people survive breast cancer and go on to live healthy happy lives so try and focus on that being a real possibility for you. Like the other lovely ladies here have said, the My Journey kit is a wealth of knowledge and can be ordered off the BCNA website. It will give you lots of info re treatment and some questions you may want to ask your medical team. 
    Visit this forum often if you ever need a chat, advice, reassurance or just to vent. I have found some lovely supportive women here and you may also be able to connect with some people in your age group that are facing similar challenges like fertility issues etc. 
    Take care xx
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